• Publication date from 2007 - present|
• English language only
• Studies that report primary data (qualitative and quantitative studies), Studies can use any form of qualitative or quantitative methods.
Interest was in papers ranging from the years of 2007–2018 as the first Apple iPhone was created in 2007.|
As this is a mixed method systematic review, the inclusion of studies that report primary data and use any form of qualitative or quantitative methods were considered appropriate for eligibility. This is to offer a broader scope in answering the research questions, and a better representation of the range of research that has already been undertaken.
Study types that were grey literature/ not published in a peer review journal,
dissertations/thesis, secondary data analysis, published abstracts, conference proceedings, commentary articles written to propose opinions and letters, or editorials were excluded from the review.
|Participants||• Any individual (adult) over the age of 18. This includes patients, the public and health care professionals.||This study will only be reviewing adults aged 18 and over in order to maintain a generational research focus.|
• Any physical health conditions.|
• Must be in relation to online self-diagnosing and health information seeking on the internet.
• Can include any level of the diagnosis process – diagnosis, processing and treatment options. Can include the perceptions of the public and healthcare professionals on the topic.
• Patient’s use of online forums to communicate health information with other patients.
|There is currently a variety of health conditions being searched for on the internet, so this review aims to explore a range of different medical searches instead of specific conditions. Online forums are a commonly used medical resource, therefore were included for eligibility. Mental health was not eligible as this is a broad area and the focus was only on physical health conditions. Cancer and maternal health were excluded as these are both large specialty areas, therefore we focused on all other physical health conditions.|
|Setting||• Any ‘normal’ primary care setting (community, primary care clinics, home, online, education facilities).||Since online self-diagnosing can take place in any setting that has internet access or service areas, all normal type settings are deemed appropriate. The clinical setting was only focused in primary care and otherwise any setting outside the clinical area.|